We Can All #RunforBoston
“Our sport has lost its innocence. But it hasn’t lost its spirit.” -Karla Bruning, host On the Run
By JESS BARRON
The house I grew up in is exactly 26.2 miles — one marathon away — from Boston by foot. My town, Southboro, Massachusetts is next door to Hopkinton, the town where the Boston Marathon begins every year. The marathon had inspired me since I was a child. When my uncle completed his Boston Marathon in the late 1980s, my grandparents kept his race photo prominently and proudly on display in their living room.
In high school I ran on the cross country and track teams. No matter what else I had going on, it made me feel calm to put on my headphones and sneakers and head out on the road. I ran the Long Beach Half Marathon on October 7, 2012, the very day before I started my job as head of editorial here at LIVESTRONG.COM.
Today I live near the beach in Los Angeles, 3,011 miles — almost exactly 115 marathons away — from Boston.
The bombings during this year’s Boston Marathon hit me near my heart. They attacked running (my sport), and they attacked my home city. To see spectators — those who came out to support the runners — injured and killed particularly hurt. As anyone who runs competitive distance races is well aware, the cheering and support from the sidelines is often what carries you through the most grueling and painful miles.
Social media helped to connect me to friends and family in Boston to find out if they were safe and how they were doing. Twitter and Facebook helped me to find out that my college classmate (Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor and “Survivor: Africa” winner) Ethan Zohn (runner in this year’s Boston Marathon) had made it home safely after the race.
It was heartening to see my fellow runners’ response of support for Boston expressed via the hashtag #RunforBoston. Thousands of people all over the country (and the world) are going out and running (alone and in groups) — and logging their miles in posts on Twitter and Facebook as well as on Google docs such as this one with over 14,000 miles logged — to show that they care and share in Boston’s pain and also to demonstrate that the spirit of the running community cannot be defeated.
And here in LA, 115 marathons away from Boston, two days after the tragic event at the Boston Marathon, 100 or so Los Angeles runners gathered at dawn at the Santa Monica Pier to run an “impromptu” marathon. It started with some words about Boston, a moment of silence for the victims, and a group hug. Participating in this run, even for only the first 3 or 4 miles meant a lot to me.
If you are a runner — or even if you’re not a runner! — consider going out there and running, walking, biking to show that the human spirit cannot be broken. You can do this officially via Boston Marathon Anywhere Relief #Anywhere5k, which aims to “show support, and raise funds for those impacted by the bombings.”
If you would like to help Boston Marathon relief efforts, please consider donating to:
1. One Fund Boston - Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino formed One Fund Boston with the purpose of raising money to help those families most affected by the tragic events that unfolded during the 2013 Boston Marathon.
2. The Red Cross - The Red Cross is on the ground and has mobilized emergency response vehicles and more than 100 trained disaster workers who are providing food, water, medical and emotional care for those affected by the bombings.
3. Boston's First Responders Fund - The Boston's First Responders Fund was established to benefit the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy.
Jess Barron is LIVESTRONG.COM’s Editor-in-Chief. A longtime foodie and fan of Farmer’s Market food, Jess particularly loves heirloom tomatoes, fresh figs with burrata cheese, and anything with pumpkin or peanut butter in it! Her love for food fuels her desire to exercise daily. Some of her favorite workout routines include running, yoga, P90X, INSANITY, and mixed martial arts. Jess’s writing can also be found at Poprocks.com. She has appeared on MSNBC’s “The Most,” ABC News Now, and XM satellite radio and her writing has appeared on Wired.com and Yahoo!